Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Albuquerque, Santa Fe Add Jobs, Other Metros, Rural Counties Lose

Metro Albuquerque added 2,000 wage jobs during the year from October 2012 through October 2013. The percentage gain was a poor 0.5%. But given that the entire state added 1,900 jobs, that means everywhere outside the Duke City lost a net of 100 jobs. Throw in that Santa Fe gained 200 jobs, then outside the north central urban area, the state lost 300 jobs.
This performance reverses what seem to have been happening for a long time. I haven’t kept a chart, but that is my perception. The numbers were release yesterday by the Department of Workforce Services.
The Farmington and Las Cruces metro areas, respectively San Juan and Dona Ana counties, reported no change in wage job totals for the period.
The Albuquerque gains included 600 more government jobs over the year, 700 in local government 500 in state, minus 600 fewer federal jobs. Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Farmington lost, between them, 500 government jobs, all of them federal. On balance, then, Albuquerque won the state government jobs and rural counties lost the local government jobs.
The financial sector was the big winner statewide with 3,000 more jobs over the year, a 9% increase that continues the sector's strong growth of the past several months. I have figured this increase had something to do with real estate, namely improved home sales. Doubt emerges because the three metros (excluding Farmington which doesn’t report sector numbers) showed only 300 more financial jobs for the year. The additional real estate jobs will be in the metro areas, I think.
On another note, a study released yesterday by George Mason University and reported in Albuquerque Business First, the business weekly, says that New Mexico has the nation’s weakest “real private economy” as defined by percentage of jobs that have nothing to do with the government, or something like that.
Such analysis continues to dismiss that we are, uniquely, who we are, invoking cliches here, with the labs, White Sands, NASA's Fort Sumner balloon operation and the 50-employee USGS Abq-based operation that monitors tectonic movement, and ignores the reality that government spending goes up and down, just like private sector spending.

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